CHICAGO -- The bitter cold caused mechanical problems which caused delays of up to 45 minutes for Metra riders this morning.
And with even colder conditions in the forecast, Metra will be working around the clock to keep things rolling.
Most Metra commuters arrived in the city this morning without delay. Some commuters budget extra time, this time of year, because of the cold.
Metra has new gear in use to ease the delays. The agency showed some of it off just a few days ago, including switch heaters and more powerful jet blowers, which work sort of like a giant hair dryer.
The new equipment is in addition to track heaters already in place throughout the system.
Fortunately the tracks did not need any snow blowing today. But temperatures below freezing are enough to affect the tracks and switches, and icing can affect electricity.
For commuters the toughest part is platform waits due to delays.
With far colder conditions tonight Metra will likely keep locomotives running non-stop, moving them around the system to prevent ice from building up on the tracks.